Saturday, 28 March 2020

10 of the Best Theatre related Guinness World Records!


Longest theatre performance - individual

The longest marathon theatre performance by an individual lasted 110 hr 46 min and was achieved by Adrian Hilton (UK) when he recited the complete works of Shakespeare in a 'Bardathon' at the Shakespeare Festival, South Bank, London, UK between 16-21 July 1987. Adrian's chosen spot on the South Bank was the location of the original Globe Theatre.

Most expensive theatre production

“Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark”, the musical based on the legendary comic superhero, is the most expensive production in the history of the theatre. As of 14 June 2011, the show’s record cost climbed to $75 million, the largest investment ever for not only a Broadway production but for the West End or anywhere in the world where there has ever been a stage.

Highest-grossing Broadway show

As of the week ending 1 March 2020, Disney’s The Lion King had grossed $1,680,389,582 (£1,310,480,000) since opening on Broadway in October 1997. A total of 15,696,974 seats have been sold for the musical across 9,292 performances (including 33 previews). It is now the third-longest running show on the Great White Way, behind the 1996 revival of Chicago and 1988's The Phantom of the Opera.

Most theatre performances - same role (female)

The most performances of a theatre actor in the same role is 8,820 and was achieved by Catherine Russell (United States) who plays Magaret Thorne Brent in Perfect Crime in New York City, United States, from 18 April 1987 to 1 December 2008. Since the show's inception Catherine has only missed four nights in the Off-Broadway murder mystery.

Most theatre performances - same role (male)

Kanbi Fujiyama (1929 - 1990) played the lead role in 10,288 performances by the comedy company Sochiku Shikigeki from November 1966 to June 1983. He also starred in 'Hibotan bakuto: hanafuda shobu' (Jap 1969) and 'Meiji kyokyakuden - sandaime shumei' (Jap 1965). 

Longest time in same show on Broadway

George Lee Andrews (USA) played a total of 9,382 performances in the Broadway production of “The Phantom of the Opera”. The show opened at The Majestic Theatre on 26 January 1988 with Andrews in the cast and he remained in the show until 3 September 2011.

Longest time in the same production (West End performance)

The longest time in the same production (West End performance) is 25 years 185 days, achieved by Philip Griffiths (UK), in London, UK. Phillip Griffiths appears as Monsieur Reyer/Auctioneer in the musical The Phantom of the Opera. 

Most expensive prop from a theatre show

For the musical stage version of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, which opened on 16 April 2002 at the London Palladium, London, UK, the magical flying car of the title cost an estimated £750,000 (US$1.07 million) to make. The complete set including the flying car was designed by the award winning set designer Anthony Ward (UK). 

Most visitors to a musical in a single theatre

The most visitors to a musical in a single theatre are 13,044,148 for the musical "Starlight Express" in Bochum, Germany as of 8 March 2010. The Musical is staged in the same location since 1988.

Longest theatrical run of a musical

The off-Broadway musical The Fantasticks by Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt (both USA), opened on 3 May 1960 and finally closed on 13 January 2002 having been performed a record 17,162 times at the Sullivan Street Playhouse, Greenwich Village, New York, USA.



Source: Guinness World Record Official Website.

Photography credits: Jacob Cohl (Spider-Man: Turn of the Dark ), Buck Ennis (Catehrine Russell ),  Josh Haner (The Lion King on Broadway),  Joan Marcus (George Lee Andrews in Phantom of the Opera, Broadway)
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